The 8 Best Vegan Sandals of 2021

Slide your hooves into these cruelty free sandals this summer

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The Rundown
"These Peta-Approved vegan sandals are perfect for lolling on the beach or strolling down the boardwalk."
Best for Women:
Matt & Nat Amavi at Amazon
"This sandal uses synthetic leather made from 100 percent recycled windshield glass resin."
"Slip on these unisex minimalistic cork sandals with a clear conscience."
"Sporting an insole made from natural cork and a wooden heel crafted by an artisan, the Lila clog personifies urban chic."
"The essential summer wedge ticks the right boxes of style, affordability, and cruelty-free credentials."
Best Men’s Slip-Ons:
Sanuck Beer Cozy 2 at Sanuk.com
"Sanuck's vegan flip-flops are made from recycled yoga mats."
"These vegan wide fit slide-on sandals have an upper made from Appleskin."
"We too are obsessed with his Italian made Cinderella-esque Fantasia 100 sandals."

Come summer and it’s time to free your toes from the shackles of socks and shoes. Our beloved choice of footwear for warm weather, sandals, have been cooling our toes since at least 7000 years. Leather has been commonly the choice of materials for shoe making since prehistoric times, but that poses a challenge for folks who opt to avoid buying animal products.

In recent times though, footwear has been toeing the cruelty-free universe. Whether you’re looking for wedges, platform heels, or just slip-ons, today you have a wide choice of animal-free, vegan options to wear as you to lounge in the sun.

Ahead, the best vegan sandals.

Best for Men: Malibu Sandals Men's Canyon Classic

Malibu Sandals Men's Canyon Classic

Step out in style wearing this engineered contemporary classic that’s inspired by a traditional Mexican sandal-making technique, huarache. We love the reimagined version of this classic weave. The sandals are constructed from vegan leather and are Peta-Approved, meaning they are vegan and cruelty-free. With a grippy outsole and an EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer that’s made into a foam sheet, which has multiple uses) footbed and midsole, they’re designed to be anatomically precise.

Malibu Sandal’s recommend that you order a pair half a size smaller than your sneakers for a snug grip. A lovely whiskey color, they’re perfect for lolling on the beach or strolling down the boardwalk.

Best for Women: Matt & Nat Amavi

Matt & Nat Amavi

Montreal-based Matt & Nat extends its ‘live beautiful’ philosophy to the materials it uses to create sandals. Our pick is the casually stylish Amavi slingback sandal with 2-inch block heels.

Perfect for a balmy summer night, it has a cutesy knotted strap and is available in basic black, a killer fleur and a dreamy soy. The sandal is made entirely from PVB (polyvinyl butyral) that’s actually created from 100 percent recycled windshield glass resin, bringing a spring into your step.

Best Unisex: Nae Vegan Shoes Bay Cork Slipper Vegan Sandals

Nae Vegan Shoes Bay Cork Slipper Vegan Sandals

Slip on these sexy unisex minimalistic cork sandals by Portuguese company Nae (the name stands for No Animal Exploitation) with a clear conscience. They're very comfortable, thanks to the cork and natural rubber footbed that provides ample support to the arch with just the right amount of cushioning.

The sandals are lined with a hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial microfiber that is OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 certified, meaning it has been tested for harmful substances and is found safe. Even the sole is made from recycled car tires. The perfect his and hers sandals, apart from Bay Brown, its available in off white as well as black, made from Piñatex.

Best Platform: Bhava Lila Wood Clog

Bhava Lila Wood Clog

Taking a compassionate view of design, Bhava constructs timeless, comfortable shoes from vegan materials. Its footwear is tested by navigating the trickiest of urban terrains—New York City. Sporting an insole made from natural cork and a wooden heel crafted by an artisan, the Lila clog personifies urban chic.

The clogs are lined with a soft vegan eco-suede material and come with an extra detachable insole for added comfort. The clogs are REACH certified in Europe, meaning it has restricted human and environmental exposure to certain chemicals, and has no PCP, formaldehyde, PVC, phthalates, or azo-dyes. With a nearly 2.5 inch heel height, it helps you stand tall with nary a wobble.

Best Wedge: Matisse Beach Point Break

Matisse Beach Point Break

The essential summer wedge ticks the right boxes of style, affordability and cruelty-free credentials. Peta-Approved vegan, Point Break has a cork footbed, synthetic upper, a manmade outsole and a synthetic leather lining. These non-fuss wedges are easy to wear and you can pull them on without struggling with fastenings.

Thanks to the natural-hued (it’s also available in black) snakeskin style detailing, you can wear it to a brunch or a dressy happy hour. However, the heels are a stratospheric 3.5 hich, so strut around in these beauties with care.

Best Men’s Slip-Ons: Sanuck Beer Cozy 2 Flip-Flop

Mens Vegan Slip On Sandal

From outdoorsy footwear company Sanuck come vegan flip-flops made from recycled yoga mats. The soles have added arch support for a super comfortable slip-on sandal. The straps are made from synthetic leather with soft neoprene, and are connected to the sole with nylon webbing toe posts.

You can even machine-wash these sandals on a cold cycle, but let them air dry. They're available in four colors, including dark brown, tan, black, and grey.

Best Leather Alternative: Good Guys Juno Vegan Buckled Slide-On

Good Guys Juno Vegan Buckled Slide-On

Fancy leisurely sandals made from apple? These vegan wide fit slide-on sandals have an upper made from Appleskin, an alternative leather that’s made from 40 percent apple waste. The midsole is made from cork and the sole in made from non-slip EVA. They have a contoured footbed with arch support, so that you don’t tire out even after hours of wearing them.

The materials are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified. They ship in a recycled paper box, and come with a cotton bag to use to store or pack your sandals.

Best Luxury: Piferi Fantasia

Piferi Fantasia

Alfredo Pīferi, founder of the eponymous luxury 100 percent vegan shoe brand is obsessed with craftsmanship, functionality and sensuality of footwear. If you're looking for a strappy high heel that's black-tie ready, his Italian made Cinderella-esque Fantasia 100 sandal.

Perched on a 100 millimeter Dali heel, it’s made from vegan Nappa, a bio-vegan material that’s processed from non-food, GMO-free field corn. The non-slip and durable soles are made from Thunit, which is a blend of rubber, inorganic mineral, and some additives. They’re stunning to look at. Slip them on and your feet will feel like a million bucks.

Final Verdict

We love Malibu Sandal’s whiskey colored Canyon Classic sandals (view at Malibu Sandals) that weave together style, tradition, and vegan fashion for men. For women, the cute and conscious Amavi slingback sandal (view at Matt & Nat) is our pick of cruelty-free summer footwear.

FAQs

Are vegan shoes eco-friendly?

For many vegan shoppers, ensuring that their purchases are free from any animal products is the top priority for ethical reasons.  

However, not all vegan shoe materials are necessarily environmentally friendly. A widely used leather alternative in the industry is the petroleum-based plastic PVC or polyvinyl chloride, which has been called the “poison plastic” by environmental watchdog Greenpeace

Another choice is Polyurethane (PU), a synthetic plastic polymer, which is softer, more pliable and less toxic than PVC. 

Does eco-friendly vegan leather exist?

Innovations continue in the world of vegan leather, with plant-based leathers becoming popular now. Such as Piñatex, which is made from pineapple leaf fibers; Desserto, which is made from cactus; and Mylo, that’s made from mycelium, the vegetative part of a mushroom. All giving a wide choice of materials for more Earth-friendly vegan sandals.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger wants you to put your best foot forward when it comes to choosing cruelty free fashion accessories which are also gentle on the environment. Our pick of vegan summer footwear keeps you covered from dawn to dusk in clogs that support your feet and have a conscience.

Author Neeti Mehra is a luxury-industry veteran who’s also committed to sustainable, slow, and mindful living.